Saturday, September 17, 2005


Thanks Gilliam for finding the link to the english translation of the constitution:

"I think this is what you are looking for:

gilliam "

You will find the original comment in the comment sections


Here is the link to the text of the draft constitution in Arabic. I don't suppose it will be of much use to my friends. If I can find an english version I shall post the link.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Michael in Framingham wrote: " My question, have you read the constitution? Do you support it? Do you think the Sunni's will reject or support it en masse? Are you yourself Sunni? (You don't have to answer that last one if you don't want to) "

Michael: My name is not Salaam, this is a form of greeting which means peace.
Regarding the constitution, this is a difficult question. There are certainly many positive principles, and others that are rather questionable. For instance the one particular clause which states that no laws can be legislated that contradict the basic principles of Islam, is an extremely dangerous phrase and is open to all sorts of interpretations. There is a certain ambiguity in several other clauses which should not be there. Regarding the role of religion, although I consider myself a pious and practicing Moslem, I nevertheless share with the secularists the view that a strict separation between politics and civil law on the one hand and religion on the other is absolutely necessary. Meddling of the clergy in politics is probably one of the worst things that are happening and is certainly one of the causes of the mess we have today. Luckily on the Shiaa side we have Al-Sistani whose position basically is that religious authorities should maintain an aloof position and abstain from direct involvement, but only engage in general counsel and advice when things really get bad. Regarding Federalism, there are pros and cons., in the short term it might create a loose form of government which the country is not in need of at the moment; however, in the long term the system may have merits. In general in the referendum I suppose I am going to vote for it mainly from a desire for the political process to go forward and not be set back to square one. I am waiting for the final amended draft which I have not seen yet, and it seems that important amendments were made including those regarding religion.
Am I a Sunni? Well, my father was a Shiite, mother Sunni and my wife is Sunni. Thus, according to the patriarchal system that we have that makes me a Shiite technically but with considerable Sunni connections. But this is an illustration of the kind of mixture we have, especially in the cities, and explains the difficulties facing the Takfirists and the Zarqawis in igniting sectarian war, but they are surely trying very hard and pushing things to the edge.
Will the Sunnis vote for or against the constitution? I think if the Sunnis in the "Triangle" are allowed to vote peacefully they are likely to turn it down and by the rule of two thirds majority in three provinces the National assembly will dissolve and elections for a new one must be held to write again the constitution. However, the terrorists are waging a vicious campaign of intimidation again and this time much more savage than the last time. They are even threatening the people with chemical weapons and God knows what dirty things are in store for us. So, ironically, it may be the terrorists themselves who are going to help the constitution to be voted in, by preventing the Sunnis from voting.



Al Qaeda, may be considered the generic name for all those movements that have in common what we call the Takfiri ideology. We have to explain this term to our friends. Kufr in the Arabic language means disbelief, atheism, or blasphemy. Kafir is the adjective which means somebody who is an infidel, atheist or heathen. Takfir is to attribute this adjective to someone, i.e. castigate people and excommunicate them as Kafirs. This ideology is not a new one, and neither is it exclusive to the Islamic religion. Unfortunately the idea seems to be implicit in the literalist understanding of all religions, especially those of Semitic origin. I do not intend to embark on a historical survey to illustrate this point; suffice it to say that Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio in his Divine Comedy had a place for everyone who was not of the strictest Catholic persuasion, according to the code and precepts of the era. Many scholars, particularly in the Arab world, believe that Dante's masterpiece must have had its original inspiration somehow from the much earlier Islamic story of "Israa and Miirage", i.e. the miraculous ascent by the prophet (PBU) to the seven heavens during his life time, and also the later "Risalat Al Ghufran" (Message of Forgiveness) by the great medieval Arab poet Abu Al- Alaa Al Maari, best remembered for his pessimism and bitterness against life and the human condition. It is established historically that Arabic language and culture were not unknown in the early days of the European Renaissance, especially in Italy. And I suppose this idea of exclusivity is to be found originally in the Jewish tradition of the chosen people; the favored nation, which by the way is acknowledged and celebrated in the Islamic tradition and the Koran as well, where numerous references to the children of Israel can be found. Well, all this is a digression from our subject which I could not resist.

What I wanted to say is that the present day Takfiri movement has historical roots that go very far back in time. Indeed the Khawarij movement which appeared in the first century of the Moslem calendar (i.e. the seventh century A.D.), bears a great resemblance to the modern Al-Qaeda and the other Takfiri groups. The Khawarij also went about committing the most terrible atrocities against foes and innocent folks alike, particularly Moslems, on the basis that these were apostates and Kafirs, citing certain verses and phrases from the Koran as justification. For instance, they would kill and disembowel pregnant Moslem women, based on a verse in the Koran, in which the prophet Noah (of the Arc), asks the Lord to exterminate all the Kafirs, because if they are left on earth they would only beget wicked Kafirs like them (Sura of Noah ). The Khawarij were also quite fanatical and suicidal and fought all their battles to the death. Many of these battles took place during the rule of Imam Ali (PBU), in whose camp, ironically, most of them belonged originally. The Imam (who is the most revered figure by the Shiaa, after the prophet), went to extreme lengths in trying to dissuade and pacify these groups, but to no avail. He was forced to wage very bloody wars against them, which usually ended in completely annihilating all their numbers in battle, since they never surrendered or laid down arms. Despite that, one of their number succeeded in assassinating the Imam while he was praying in the Kufa Mosque in present day Iraq.

Thus those who believe that the present day Takfiri movement is just the outcome of contemporary factors, such as poverty, the political struggle against western policies, nationalism etc. etc., will never arrive at a proper understanding if they do not appreciate the profound complexities of the historical background. Thus I would call these movements and groups the Neo-Khawarij. The renaissance of this Neo-Khawarij in the modern era can certainly be traced to the rise of Wahabism in the 18th century in the Arabian Peninsula, i.e. the present day Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. This movement started as an extreme stern puritanical doctrine directed mostly against Shirk, which means worshiping other deities besides Allah. But basically it was directed mainly against the Shiaa and Mystic sects who abounded everywhere in the Moslem world then. The Wahabis committed many atrocities particularly against the Iraqi Shiaa, when hordes used to raid Najaf and other Shiaa holy cities frequently and murder thousands of pilgrims and residents, and that was long before any western powers appeared in the region. The Al-Saud family had a very special relationship with this movement. They used them originally to gain power and ascendancy in the Arabian Peninsula, but when they were firmly in power, they often collided with them and suppressed them quite violently. Today Saudi Arabia and many of the Gulf States are officially of the Wahabi sect, but it must be said that it would be inaccurate to consider them as Takfirists and terrorists. It can only be said that the modern terrorist Takfiri movement is a fringe movement originating from this Wahabi background, and that most of its adherents originate from this milieu, or are converts to this way of thinking from other Moslem sects almost invariably Sunni. but note that Wahabism is not properly a Sunni Sect, but is certainly more tolerant of Sunnis than of other Moslem sects, although regarding the four established Sunni schools with some disdain and disapproval.

Well I just wanted to fill in some background information to help my western friends understand better the nature of the enemy we are facing.


Thursday, September 15, 2005


Very quick announcement “en passant”; while we are in the middle of incredible carnage – just how low can humans ( or subhumans!) sink, it is mind boggling. Can you imagine the criminality and beastliness of these killers? And it is mostly the poor people who are paying the price. Murdering day laborers and dragging people out of their beds at 4 a.m. to shoot them in cold blood, whose sole fault was that they happened to be of a certain sect, just shows what kind of beasts we are facing. Here is faschism, racism and bigotry par excellence for you. The scenes are horrific and heart rending and would break the most insensitive of hearts.

And how many times have I said and repeated, secure Baghdad, safeguard Baghdad, provide safe haven for the people and soldiers in Baghdad, lock up Baghdad, it is the Battle of Baghdad etc. etc.? In fact I started this blog mainly to emphasize this point. Still vehicles move about freely without serious attempts at identification and control. Still people move in and out of the capital and infiltrators can come and occupy houses and neighborhoods without any serious risk at being found out and apprehended. It does not come as surprise to me in the least that these bastards can perpetrate their abominable atrocities at will since they can come and hide in the capital quite easily.

I am not belittling the importance and usefulness of the many campaigns in the provinces; they are both necessary and effective, but without securing the ground after these operations and without securing the rear and the center (which is the Baghdad area), one is just wasting the fruits of victories. Also the Iraqi and coalition forces have caught many and inflicted heavy damage on the terrorists. But that is simply not enough and very serious rethinking of the whole strategy is required.

I hope to be able to tell you more about my thinking later.


Saturday, September 03, 2005


We are shocked and very sad indeed to hear of the catastrophe that has struck the Southern United States. We extend our sincere condolences to the American people. These are terrible times indeed, that we have to witness catastrophe after catastrophe and disaster after disaster. We beg the Lord God his mercy and forgiveness and ask him to deliver us from this evil that is gripping the World these days.